With last week’s addition of Jim Caldwell to the coaching staff, it’s interesting to note the Ravens have hired a former NFL head coach to handle the quarterback coaching duties for the second time in three years.
While many have wondered how much the former Indianapolis quarterbacks coach really helped Peyton Manning when Caldwell served in that capacity from 2002 to 2008 before becoming the Colts’ head coach, he came to the organization at a critical point in Manning’s career. The future Hall of Fame quarterback was coming off his worst season since his rookie year after throwing 23 interceptions in 2001 and rebounded to lead the Colts to the playoffs in 2002.
More interesting than debating the merits of Caldwell’s impact on Manning is what potential wisdom the coach picked up from one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. The best coaches evolve and learn from their players, and it will be fascinating to see how his years of interacting with Manning in Indianapolis might come in handy in helping to mentor Flacco in 2012.
It will be interesting to see how coach John Harbaugh manages the lines of communication between Flacco, Caldwell, and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, but it’s hard to argue with rolling the dice on a guy who worked with Manning for a decade.
Reminiscent of the movie Fever Pitch in which Jimmy Fallon’s character watches a replay of Mookie Wilson’s grounder trickling through the legs of Bill Buckner over and over, many Ravens fans cannot let go of the discussion of the final seconds of the heartbreaking loss in Foxborough.
Every aspect and potential variable has been beaten to death, from the merits of calling a timeout to the theory that a magic fan from the grassy knoll at Gillette Stadium pushed the ball wide left.
If you can stomach it one more time, go back and watch the field goal attempt. But, before you do, forget everything you know about the play, including the sequence of events leading to the try, the teams, the names of the players, and the final outcome.
Just watch it for what it is — nothing more, nothing less — right here.
Does it look a bit rushed? Sure, but the hyperbole has spun out of control even weeks later.
A loose translation of the 14th century principle Occam’s razor says that when faced with a number of competing explanations, the most obvious and simplest one is usually the correct one.
As the kicker said very plainly following the game, Billy Cundiff just missed the kick.
And as I discussed with a member of the organization several days following the game, those criticizing Harbaugh for failing to call a timeout would be the same ones calling for him to be fired had he done it and Cundiff still missed after being “iced” by his own coach.
Do I expect this to change anyone’s mind or ease any sorrows? Of course not.
It’s a long offseason after all.